I am in the process of refinancing, and I would like to know how I can find the estimated value of my home after putting considerable equity into it?

Asked by The_wza, Cobbs Creek, Philadelphia, PA Tue Dec 21, 2010

I bought this home as a foreclosure, but I have put a considerable amount of work into into it. I also bought it under the auspice of a home buyer's program offered by my employer that is now defunct and none of the refi options seem to understand the terms under which I bought it.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


, ,
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Hello The _wza.

During the refinancing process the property will be appraised and the lender has to provide you with a copy of the appraisal.

You can also get an idea of your property value by using http://www.zillow.com but it is not always accurate. Whilst on that site provide your property address and then list all the improvements that you have done to it. Zillow will adjust the property value over time. Interestingly enough, I have seen bank underwriters use zillow to check the value of a property so it is a useful tool.

Good luck and if you have any more questons or need a good mortgage broker give me a call.

Best Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Voted Best of Bucks 2010
Cornerstone Lending Inc
720 Second St Pike Suite 104
Southampton Pa 18966
Office 215 953 0800
Fax 215 953 1706
Cell 267 992 7276
0 votes
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Mon Feb 7, 2011
Good luck with the appraisal. The others have given you good advice. You should have a list of things you have done to the house
Web Reference:  http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes
Stan Bril, , 19053
Thu Feb 3, 2011

Make sure to double check the appraisal. I have had some appraisers come into Philadelphia from Chester and Bucks county not really understanding that a home on block "A" might be worth twice as much as the one on block "B", even though they are right next to each other. Please let me know if you need any help and I can have an appraiser help you double check it.
0 votes
, ,
Wed Feb 2, 2011

You are certainly allowed to present information to the appraiser as a homeowner. As a matter of fact, you can dispute the findings if the appraiser omitted data that would impact valuation. The key is to "inform", not "influence".

Good luck!
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hopefully, you didn't pay too much for it. Some buyers/sellers/agents chat with appraisers, while they're working, hoping to talk up/down the valuation. Sometimes this works, and it fails other times.

Even if the valuation that you receive is less than what you wanted to hear, you still might have other options.
0 votes
The_wza, Home Owner, Cobbs Creek, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Feb 2, 2011
So, I have an appraiser (as provided by the credit union I am trying to refinance with) scheduled to come out tomorrow to view my property. My fingers are crossed that this appraisal will go better than the one with the scam artists at Lending Tree (no offense to anyone out there who might be affiliated, but I was definitely hosed by my agent). Are there things I can actually discuss with the appraiser that might help matters? Since I am very involved in my community and I know what houses have sold for on my block and in the general vicinity is this 'allowed' or does it ultimately have no bearing on the appraisal anyway?

Thanks to everyone for all of your suggestions and help. I greatly appreciate it.
0 votes
Bruce Lang, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Jan 26, 2011
Regardless of any third party opinion the only opinion that matters is that of the lenders appraiser. You can provide him comparable sales but your refi is at the mercy of the appraiser. I'd suggest you provide him any relevant information permitted by law.
0 votes
Stan Bril, , 19053
Wed Jan 12, 2011
If you bought the home more than 6 months ago, I would be able to use the appraised value of the property. I would suggest that you ask a realtor for comps that sold in the last 6 months or an appraiser. If you would like, I can use my connections to get you a rough estimate (free of charge), but it will be better than zillow.com or realtor.com. Good luck.

Best regards,

Stan Bril
Branch Manager
GFI Mortgage Bankers, INC.
275 East Street Road, Suite 4
Feasterville Trevose, PA 19053
Office 267.988.4013
Toll Free 877.409.3377
Fax 215.689.0957
Cell 215.681.2444
0 votes
Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Fri Jan 7, 2011
I would talk to three Realtors who work your area and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis from all three. That should give you a good sense of value. You may want to aslo pay for an appraisal. It may run around $500, but it will give you the most detailed opinion of value and one that you can literally take to the bank, because they put a lot of credibility into them.
0 votes
Ed Fallon, M…, , West Chester, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Please know that if you were to get an appraisal done by yourself, outside of the lending, it could not be used by any lender. Each lender is required to obtain their own appraisal. So, if you were to do that and wanted to go ahead with the refinance, you would pay for two appraisals.
0 votes
Jason Rodrig…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
You can get an idea of the price of your home using zillow.com, trulia.com or realtor.com. Don't trust those value too much as they are not as accurate as we want them to be but it will give you an idea. If you wish visit my website http://www.onestopgetyourhome.com you can download a free cost vs value report for 2010. Its the annual report on the relationship between remodeling costs and resale value. You can compare national and regional averages for 33 popular remodeling projects. Remember trulia and zillow will only give you an idea, the final value will come from the appraisal that is order by the bank.

Best of luck and enjoy your holidays
0 votes
Timothy Garr…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Hi, The_wza.

As stated already, your best bet would be to get a full appraisal done (both exterior and interior). This should be part of your refinance process, but if it isn't you may want to get one on your own (it will cost you a few hundred bucks).

I have some appraiser recommendations if you need any help. Lots of luck to you!

Happy Holidays!


Timothy M. Garrity | Brown McKinney Real Estate, Co.
Real Estate Professional & Consultant

tgarrity@brownmckinney.com Email| http://www.brownmckinney.com/tim Website
215-825-2250 x 1007 Office | 267-879-2716 Mobile | 267-519-5490 Fax
Web Reference:  http://brownmckinney.com/tim
0 votes
Erica Ramus,…, Agent, Pottsville, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Why not get an appraisal? This should cost you $300-400 and could be well worth your investment.
0 votes
Jim Whalen, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Yes, I agree with what Benny has told you. You should contact an agent and get a CMA report. That will show you the comparable properties that sold in the last six months and their price range, also I agree with taking the 10 % off of the price with this economy as it is now. Also Alan suggested to check the prices with Zillow, but they do not always update their prices and it could be inaccurate, so it is best to deal with an agent. I do not know exactly what your intentions are but If you could give me a call I can help you out with the CMA and any other problems you might have with this situation.

Thank you,

Jim Whalen
V.I.P. Realty Corporation
(215) 725-5700
0 votes
The_wza, Home Owner, Cobbs Creek, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Unfortunately, I seem to be getting a soft denial prior to the actual appraisal process and I'm worried that it's because I am not giving a fair estimate of the value of my own home. I purchased it for $85 as a foreclosure but I'm certain that it's worth way more than that.

The reason I bring up my home buying program is because I live near a university (the same one I work for who offered the program in the first place as part of a slow gentrification/redevelopment program) in a somewhat fringey neighborhood where homes that have been bought, rehabbed and sold for double their sale price sit next to shells. This makes it hard to give an accurate assessment as someone who is not a profressional.

That said, should I be giving a higher ballpark estimate when I am refinancing or is there any way to have it appraised prior to the application?

Did any of that make sense?
0 votes
Benny Smith, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
The value of your home is based on the condition not how much you spent or how you got it. Keep your information brief and to the point to get the most accurate estimates. You can get a general idea of value on the resale market by comparing recent sales in your area, last six months. Market value is not a specific price but a price range. This is a price range that is at best plus or minus 10% of the expected resale value. Most refi appraisals in the last couple of years have hit the lower of the range.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Refinance a home loan same as applying for another loan. Lender will send out certified appraiser determine value of the home. Keep in mind charge is approx. $5000 - or + refi a home you need to determine how much longer are you going to reside there worth money spent. The $5000 - or + is "rolled into back of the note"

You mostly likely would be required to pay for appraisal.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Ed Fallon, M…, , West Chester, PA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Contact a real estate agent, or search Trulia to find homes close to and similar to your home.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more